Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Cardcaptor Sakura Hairdryer~ Review

Earlier this summer I purchased the Cardcaptor hairdryer by Super Groupies, which is a Japanese company that specializes in making anime fashion merchandise like luggage, high heels and also hairdryers.

I have never really needed a hairdryer since I tend to air dry my hair, but this summer I had multiple times I washed my hair a bit to late and was mourning the fact that I didn’t own one. Also, I was styling my Halloween wig and needed a hairdryer to set some pieces, so it was the perfect time to look into purchasing one.

While looking around I saw that there was a Cardcaptor hairdryer now on the market, so I contacted a  Japanese buyer to purchase one for me. [as of writing this blog post I’ve found multiple sellers online and on eBay but there’s also a huge influx of knock offs so purchase with your own discretion] 

The hairdryer came as one complete piece packed nicely in a cute themed box. It has the ability to fold in half into a compact size for storage or travel. As a whole, it’s incredibly sturdy and well structured. The wings feel very secure on the unit, with no flex. The hairdryer’s head, though clear, has no issues with overheating and is also firmly attached to the casing. Which I did honestly have slight doubts about for some reason, but thankfully those doubts were unfounded.

The hairdryer has 3 settings; Cool, Haircare, and Quick Dry. Cool and Haircare both operate on a medium air pressure while Quick dry has the faster air speed. Cool, as it implies, is just cool air which is what I use for my own hair and I’ve had no issues with additional hair damage. Haircare is a low heat setting at 50 °C that I’ve actually used for multiple things like helping to dry some paint, for different art projects, and most recently my Succubus horns! The Quick dry setting is the highest heat setting at 60 °C with the addition of a faster air speed, which I’ve only used on my wig project to help melt the plastic hairs a bit to set the style. It really works wonderfully for every task I’ve used it for. Which makes it a nice basic hairdryer. No over heating, easy to control and operate, and a nice air flow.

The details of the hairdryer are really the biggest draw to the unit and the reason I decided to purchase it. I may not be that vocal about it but I adore Cardcaptor Sakura, it was one of the shows I grew up watching so I definitely look back on it fondly and enjoy the aesthetic of it’s merchandise. The attention to the details and contours of the hairdryer is really quite lovely in person. The main pink colour is a nice semi matte pink and the head has beautiful metallic detailing. The bottom of the hairdryer also has a slight gem like connection to the plug, which needs 100 V 50/60 Hz and can fit into a standard US plug. 

Is it the best hairdryer on the market, I highly doubt it, but it does what it’s intended to do. So, it is what it is. A nice good hairdryer with a cool, low and high setting. The main advantage is that it’s so cute and definity a nice addition for someone that may enjoy the Cardcaptors aesthetic as much as I do. I definitely feel like a magical girl when I pull it out of my hairtools drawer, hehe!

Do you own any niche merchandise? Its actually my first time purchasing something not Disney related but I have such a soft spot for nostalgia related items!


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

What's in my bag!

 I feel like this post has been a long time coming since my last one was 4 years ago! ~ 

What's in my bag, 2017!
So, to start off, my main bag is a Liz Lisa three-way bag which I just keep in backpack form. I get a lot of wear out of it as it fits SO much stuff and has lots of pockets for organizing too. It's really become one of my favourite purses I've had over the years.

My second bag I will go though is my 'tech' bag, which is a slightly older Liz Lisa clutch, that fits my tablet and can also fit into my purse if need be.

Sitting at the top of my bag is my 500 ml bkr water bottle, which is actually one of the staple items I take everywhere. I have a few of their bottles that I take out on rotation, but this week it's the Rose Gold Tutu from their 500 collection which has 500 Swarovski crystals n the cap of the bottle. It's super sparkly and looks quite cute. I like bringing along water bottles because it helps me drink water more often than I used too;;

I also always carry my wallets. One is Ted Baker and the other is a Liz Lisa pass holder that I use for convenience~ I have two so I can switch bags easily and be able to just grab my license and debit card without much fuss or thought when I need to.

The next section of items from my purse are items I find important but not really staple for everyday. Included in that would be; My key chain that holds my car keys, my bike lock and a mini tactical knife. A reusable tote bag as my city charges an extra cost per bag when shopping, so, I always carry my own to save money. I always have my favourite pen on hand that is customized to have cute colours, pink, magenta, and a dark purple. Then, so I can access my schedule and my to do lists, I always try to bring along my planner. I like to physically write out the things I need to do or to remember so having it on hand is extremely helpful to me. I also like to have tissues as I am prone to bad allergies and extremely teary eyes so if I'm without a tissue, I look like I'm miserable.

Something that was also in my bag was my Censi cat ear headphones. I don't always bring them in my purse, but when I know I will be studying , will go to the gym, or will be out alone, I have them with me. The headphones are not just cute and pink but they're Bluetooth enabled, waterproof, and has detachable cat ears~ I tend to never have the cat ears on unless it's for photos, but I appreciate the option.

I don't quite keep track of what other items I carry with me besides my staples, so the remaining clutter was a mixed bag of surprises. I don't even know why I have an 'L' wrench, a vacuum hose attachment or measuring tape in all honesty, oops!
Besides the oddities, I have a mirror compact that I bought when I saw the Anastasia musical, a fringe roller, EOS lip balm, hair tie and a spare hair bow.

A constant, but overlooked, bag companion I have are emergency supplies. I have feminine sanitary products, Benedryl, alcohol pads, band-aids and lash glue. Nothing super exciting but it's nice to have on hand just in case I or someone nearby may need something.

The last items in my purse are doubles of my favourite cosmetics; I have a travel size Tatcha facial spray for refreshing my skin or my makeup, it's actually my favourite setting spray and makes my makeup look beautifully dewy. I bring along a YSL tint-in-oil, I Rose You, that is a beautiful rosey tint/gloss and works quite lovely as a subtle blush in a pinch. I also bring my YSL tint-in-balm, Dream in Nude, because it is the the best 'my lips but better' shade on me and it's super moisturizing, and I like having it on hand if need be. Then I have a roll on version of my signature perfume which is Dolce&Gabbana's Pour Femme.

Funnily enough with all that's in my bag, it doesn't look stuffed. Though, I definitely took this opportunity to take out some clutter, haha;;  

Now onto my 'tech' bag! Which is something new for me to carry with me, but it's a necessity for being able to study on the go~

I do want to take a moment to show off my cute Little Mermaid charm on my bag. I love it so much.

I have a good assortment of stuff in my bag, and all of it fits comfortably in the clutch which was totaly a happy accident!

The main item I carry is my iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. My iPad is housed in a keyboard case which I think is 'ieGrow'? I bought it off ebay and it wasn't labeled... Either way it's Bluetooth enabled and works just fine at making my iPad more convenient to type on. Also, the keys glow pink, so I can't complain. 

The smaller items I carry in the bag are; A Mophie powerstation xxl which is a portable battery pack that can charge up to three device at once and lasts for hours! A spare wall charger if by luck I am by a wall outlet. Then I bring along a cables for my battery/headphones/tablet case, my iPad/Pencil and a cable to charge my phone. Basically, I'm ready for anything.

I like to keep my 'tech' bag as uncluttered as possible to keep it light and well organized so it's not a hassle to bring wherever I need to be.

I hope this was moderately interesting to read over, but it also leaves me curious to what my readers take along in their bags as an everyday staple?


Monday, November 27, 2017

3 Larme Ribbon Hairstyles~ Tutorial

 I've been seeing so many drop dead gorgeous hairstyles on my instagram feed this season and I couldn't get them out of my head! The main accounts I've been obsessing over in regards to hair are Swankiss_official and okumura.yusuke

Ever since I figured out how to do the heart hair arrangement I wanted to learn how to replicate my favourite Larme hairstyles. So, I recruited my friend, self titled, 'Braidcognito', who is absolutely amazing at duplicating hairstyles from photos, to help teach me how to do so! 

Most of the styles I like do incorporate braids (mostly French braids) so, learning the basics of that would be recommended for the following hair arrangements.

Basic breakdown of a French braid  is it's an overhand braid that incorporates hair from either side into the main braid structure. I don't think I'm equipped to properly and cohesively explain how to French braid... In all honesty I'm still quite a novice at braiding. So, I HIGHLY recommend watching french braid tutorials online if it is something new to be attempted!!!

The first look is one of the more easier, beginner friendly, styles and quicker in terms of completing, but definitely looks quite striking. 

Items needed: 
1 hair tie
Ribbons (I have clip on ribbons which make the styling quite quick and easy)

1.Part hair into a deep part.

2. Start braid at the part, on the side with the largest mass of hair.

3. Continue with a regular French braid going straight down.

4. Once hitting brow level, stop pulling in hair into the braid and continue as a normal braid.

5. Tie off braid.

6. Gently pull strands of the braid, evenly, to create more volume and a beautiful thick plait.

7. Clip, pin, or tie bows into the braid to add more personality!

This style is one I have been able to successfully recreate without much stress even with my beginner skills at French braiding and definitely recommend attempting for any skill level! It's also very flattering because it doesn't take away volume or height to the hair and makes the face look small.

The next style is an easier take on the above hairstyle, but that showcases how to make the heart arrangement~

Items needed:
5 hair ties
Ribbons (again, I use clip on bows for quick and easy placement)

Above, I created an easy break down on hair hearts~

The first step is to tie off the section of hair you are using. Once tied, separate the ends into two pieces.

Secondly, using another hair elastic, tie up the end hair so it is forced upward. It is the best time to fix and neaten up the pieces. Optionally, you can use a hair straightener to guide the hair and even give it more of an arch to aid the heart shape.  

The last step is to tie off the ends and finish the heart!

It does take a bit of practice, but with a bit of fine tuning it is definitely do-able.

1. Like the previous look, part hair into a deep side part~

2. Start braid at top of head and start a normal French braid on the side of the head with the most hair.
Finish and tie the braid after 3-4 inches.

3. With the tied off hair, create a hair heart (previously diagrammed)

4. Repeat and make a second heart with remaining hair.

5. Finish by clipping, pinning or tying ribbons on the middle nubs of the hearts.

Heart hair arrange is hands down the cutest hair style to come out this year! Since it can be adjusted for almost every hair length and can be added anywhere on the head, it's just so versatile~

The last look I wanted to feature or at least attempt to break down is one of Okumura's signature arrangements because it's just so whimsical and over the top! 

Items needed:
7 hair ties
LOTS of ribbon!

Specifically for me:
4 ribbons each measuring 10 inches
3 ribbons all measuring 6 inches

1. Part hair where preferred, I parted mine down the middle~

2. Start one braid on one side towards the middle of the head.
3. Use a Dutch braid (similar to French brain but bringing the hair under rather than over) with only pulling in hair from one side, specifically, the side towards the top of the head. 

4. Continue the braid diagonally and secure with a hair tie.

5. Repeat on other side of the head and secure both braids together with a tie when finished.

6. Start another Dutch braid towards the front of the head, again only pulling hair from one side, like the previous braid, pulling hair from the area above the braid.

7. Continue braid diagonally down and secure with a hair tie.

8. Repeat on other side; secure braid with a hair tie. Both braids are to remain separate.
9. Using same method as previously mentioned to make hair heart arrangement, create a heart with the connected braids.
10. Use the 10 inch ribbons to thread through the two braids on each side like shoelaces. Each side braid set used 2 of the long ribbons, each ribbon starting at opposite ends and meeting to tie into a ribbon in the middle.

11. To finish, tie, clip or pin ribbons at the end of each outer braid and at the bottom of the heart

PHEW! It's definitely a process to create, but the end product is so intricate and amazing! I could definitely justify using more ribbons to amp up the 'WOW' factor. Also, with all the skills used to make the each step could be used and applied separately or in different ways to make infinite amounts of unique hair arrangements~ 

This season I've definitely been inspired to step out of my comfort zone and attempt to style my hair more often! Which makes me so grateful to my friend, 'Braidcognito', for taking the time to figure out how to remake these hairstyles and guiding me in how to do it myself. Also, for agreeing to let me borrow her talents to share on my blog.

Hopefully we were able to decently break down the steps to be easy to follow and that they will be attempted and enjoyed!


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Succubus horns~ DIY

Halloween may be over but demon horns are never out of season~ ho ho ho!

Due to popular demand, a tutorial on my quick/easy Succubus horns is here, just in time for Christmas.

Items I used:
Aluminum foil
Packing tape
Paper mache, (I had a tub of paper mache powder from a few years ago on hand.)
Hot glue gun
Acrylic Paint

Hair Dryer (to speed the process up)
Paint sealer
Santa Hat

Step one~ Probably the most time consuming step in the process, is to make the base shape of the horns. I may have kindly taken my horn design from a mobile game that I play [Lineplay] Make sure you pay attention to the fine details on this step, since it will be your foundation, like; making sure they look even, and that they are angled to sit on your head in the way you prefer.

Second step is to cover your horns in masking tape, I like to rip them into smaller pieces so its easier to cover the contours of the horns and that they lay flat. It will also lessen the work to do in the next step~ If  one's on a time crunch and doesn't mind the texture, the horns could be painted at this step and be good to go! 

Third step is to cover the horns in an extremely thin layer of paper mache, which will cover up any extra texture and also give a but more support to strengthen the horns. To speed up the drying process I blasted it with my hair dryer and I easily had the both horns dry in my hands in under 15 minutes. 

Then, when dry, paint the horns~  The paint could also be sealed after to make the horns more durable, but it is just a personal preference.

Optional: I took the trim off Christmas decor and hot glued it to the bottom of my horns to make them cute and fluffy.

The last step is to use a hot glue gun and glue the horns onto a headband (I couldn't find a plain headband so I took apart some reindeer antlers for this project.). It really don't need to be neat, just as long as it's secure.

Mine definitely was a mess inside but it works just as well~

Then when it's all done you can do any finalizing touches if need be. For me, that was adding some ribbon!

My finished horns are a success, and look super cute. My first initial pair only took me 3 hours on Halloween day. This pair probably took me 5 hours since I wanted them to look super clean on camera. 

The horn construction is pretty cheap, quite sturdy and most items could be found at home or acquired in a pinch. 

I seriously love this look and how the horns looks while worn, and I definitely got many compliments when I wore them on Halloween. In all honesty, given the items used for construction, I could also use them for a holiday look without a huge stretch in reasoning!

I hope this tutorial was helpful and, as a fellow procrastinator, that it might help those in need of a last minute costume!